Potato chips are among the highest contributors to the dietary intake of acrylamide, a potent neurotoxin and likely carcinogen in heat-processed foods, says a Canadian research team, whose study on acrylamide formation in chips was recently published online in the journal Food Control.
The study aimed to determine the effects of frying conditions and additive treatments on reducing sugars, asparagine levels, and acrylamide formation in fried potato chips.
Three commercially important chipping cultivars (Atlantic, Snowden, and Vigor) were tested using different frying times (3, 5, and 7?min) and different temperatures (160, 170, 180, and 190?°C).
Acrylamide formation in chips was found to be cultivar-specific and increased with increasing frying time and temperature. The acrylamide levels were significantly lower in chips processed at high temperatures for short frying times than in those processed at low temperatures for long frying times. In all cultivars, acrylamide synthesis was accompanied by significant decreases in the levels of reducing sugars and asparagine.
The cultivar exhibiting the lowest acrylamide levels in the processed potato chips was Snowden, while the conditions most conducive to acrylamide formation in all cultivars were frying at 190?°C for 7?min.
Using a 7?min frying time, decreasing the frying temperature from 190 to 160?°C mitigated the acrylamide formation in potato chips processed from Atlantic, Snowden and Vigor by 84, 67, and 78%, respectively.
The scientists also examined the effects of additives, such as 1% acetic acid, 1% citric acid, 0.1?M sodium chloride, 0.1?M calcium chloride, 0.5% ascorbic acid, or 1?M l-glycine, during the blanching of potato slices prior to frying. Blanching in distilled water led to the greatest decreases (19–59%) in acrylamide formation in all cultivars.
The research team says their findings provide the basis for new processing strategies to mitigate acrylamide formation, and improve the quality of chips from these, and possibly other, potato cultivars.
Photo: FoodNavigator | iStock
Researchers: Dilumi W.K.Liyanagead, Dmytro P.Yevtushenkoa, MicheleKonschuhb, BenoîtBizimunguc, Zhen-XiangLud
aDepartment of Biological Sciences, University of Lethbridge, 4401 University Drive, Lethbridge, AB, T1K 3M4, Canada
bAlberta Agriculture and Forestry, 100 5401 1st Avenue South, Lethbridge, AB, T1J 4V6, Canada
cFredericton Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, PO Box 20280, 850 Lincoln Road, Fredericton, NB, E3B 4Z7, Canada
dLethbridge Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 5403 1st Avenue South, Lethbridge, AB, T1J 4B1, Canada